The glamorous seafront town of Cannes is a rather glittery and wonderful place to be over Christmas and New Year.
In the lead-up to Christmas, the cobbled streets and palm-lined boulevards of Cannes are transformed into a place of Christmas markets and festive fun, with the ice skating rink glowing pale blue under the fairy lights, and little wooden chalets selling hot gooey crepes and mugs of steaming mulled wine. There’s also a fairground in town over Christmas to keep the kids endlessly amused, and the famous Palais des Festivals will be dressed in twinkling lights that shine across the superyacht port.
There are plenty of events organised in Cannes over the festive season. Nativity plays perform local Provencal traditions, carol services draw a crowd, and there’s a fantastic parade on Christmas Eve along Rue d’Antibes. Those wishing to attend Christmas or New Years mass services will find several welcoming options, from the extremely popular French services at Notre-Dame d'Esperance church atop Le Suquet, to the English-speaking Anglican services held at Holy Trinity Church.
Cannes is well-known for its brilliant shopping and, in the lead-up to Christmas, the narrow lanes bustle with shoppers buying presents at the designer boutiques and department stores, while many bargains can be found at the local markets and high street chain stores. There are musical events through the streets right through December, as well as a busy programme of concerts at the Palais des Festivals, while Cannes’ restaurants, piano bars and wine bars are a lovely place to relax after a hard day’s shopping.
New Year’s Eve, ‘Le Reveillon’, is brought in with a spectacular fireworks display – in 2018, the theme will be ‘We Are the Champions’. Be sure to book well ahead for restaurants and events in Cannes for New Year as they’re very popular. The French traditionally celebrate New Year’s Day with a seafood feast with friends and family, so you’ll also find some elaborate dining events at local restaurants on the first of January.
Cannes is putting on an action-packed schedule of events over the festive season. Here’s our guide to the top things to do over Christmas and New Year in Cannes.